The SA treasury has turned down Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba’s request for an immediate upgrade of some of his staff.
A report has it that the Home Affairs minister, Malusi Gigaba requested that a number of his staff travelling with him on business class be upgraded, but the National Treasury turned his request down.
The Home Affairs department requested for the upgrade pointing out that the department needed exceptions to be made because sticking to the rules would mean that officials took longer to disembark from a flight than Gigaba, thereby delaying him.
“The minister was inconvenienced and had to further wait for the disembarking of the personnel assistant from another terminal to be able to proceed with the trip, which resulted in the minister arriving late for scheduled appointments,” the department’s motivation for the request read.
The Finance minister Pravin Gordhan on his part, turned down Gigaba’s request citing a number of occasions where the SA treasury had received requests for permission to deviate from cost containment measures introduced three years ago.
Minister Pravin said the SA Treasury had found that the Home Affairs department has not sufficient reason as to why its staff need to be upgraded against the rule which says: “The minister’s support staff must be treated the same as all other employees and therefore must fly economy class unless paragraph 4.9 of the National Treasury Instruction 01 of 2013/2014 applies.”
The SA treasury’s response to this request as well as that of DA’s finance spokesman, David Maynier, shows that requests for exceptions from Eskom and the Land Bank, among others, were also turned down.
Speaking on this, DA’s Maynier said : “The minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan, is clearly desperately trying to hold the fiscal line but his belttightening measures are being resisted by ministers and officials too accustomed to the high life.”
meanwhile, the finance minister drew concern on the need to address youth unemployment in the country.
Minister Gordhan said unemployment has become a national emergency which requires businesses, private and public entities to help the state government in creating job opportunities.
Speaking at a youth employment conference of the National Planning Commission in Stellenbosch, the minister said the legacy of apartheid is preventing many young people from realising their dreams.
“Youth without jobs and youth without training is not the kind of South Africa we want,” Minister Gordhan said,
“This does constitute a national emergency where people who have work opportunities to offer people who have cooperatives that can engage these young people.
“We have lots of them in South Africa and that if we organise them in the right kind of way we will not have young people sitting,” he added.